Updated August 10, 2022

Banks That Don't Require Social Security Number

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Looking to open a bank account without providing your Social Security Number? Read this guide to know which banks don't require an SSN.

There are plenty of legitimate reasons why someone might not have a Social Security number. After all, the U.S. is a country of immigrants, and the gears of bureaucracy turn slowly.

And unfortunately, getting an SSN can take months, if not years.

The good news? Some banks know this shouldn't keep you from getting basic financial services. In this helpful guide, find out which banks don't require a Social Security number.

Why Do Banks Need a Social Security Number?

A Social Security Number is a unique identification that keeps track of your entire financial life. It's used to report your income to the IRS and issue government benefits after you retire.

Banks usually ask for your SSN so they can verify your identity. They'll also use it to check your credit score and banking history to decide if they want to approve you for an account. Plus, if you earn any interest, that can be reported to the IRS.

How to Open a Bank Account Without a Social Security Number

If you don't have a Social Security number, there are some banks that let you open a checking account with other identification documents. Usually, you will need to provide an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) instead.

Typically, you will need to provide:

  • Name and date of birth - This can be proved with a current passport, government-issued driver's license, birth certificate, or Consular ID card

  • Proof of address - This can be utility bills, lease agreement, current driver's license or state ID

  • Identification number - If you don't have a SSN, you can provide an ITIN or Alien Identification Number

Note: Some banks may have different requirements, but these are the ones that are broadly applicable.

Why do I need an ITIN?
An ITIN, or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, will serve as your identification number for filing your tax returns. If you do not qualify for an SSN, you will need to apply for an ITIN. You can obtain an ITIN by filling out Form W-7 and submitting it to the IRS. Most banks require you to have either a valid SSN or ITIN.

Banks That Don't Require a Social Security Number

Below, let's take a look at what banks and credit unions will offer accounts for those without a Social Security number.

1. Bank of America

Bank of America is a well-known U.S. bank that provides a range of financial services, like checking and savings accounts, rewards credits cards, loans, investing services, and more.

They have approximately 4,200 branches across the nation, and 17,000 ATMs, ensuring you'll have access practically everywhere.

You can open a Bank of America account with an ITIN instead of an SSN, but you'll have to do it at a local branch as the option isn't offered online.

2. Chase

Chase Bank has 4,700 branches and more than 16,000 ATMs[1] throughout the U.S. However, they tend to be near the coasts and around major cities.

If you live in more rural parts of the U.S., you may want to choose another option.

Chase offers personal banking services such as checking and savings accounts, credit cards, home and auto loans, and investing through JPMorgan. You can also take advantage of online banking services through the Chase site and mobile app.

Like Bank of America, you can open a Chase account without a Social Security number, but the ability to do so may depend on your visa or Green Card status.

3. Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo is another one of the big four banks in the US. It has over 4,800 branches well spread across the nation.

It lets you apply for an account online with an ITIN. You'll also need a driver license/state ID or matricula card.

If you don't have those, you can apply in-person at a branch. You can also prove your identity with a Green Card, visa, foreign passport, or alien ID card.

4. Alliant Credit Union

Alliant Credit Union is an online credit union open to everyone nationwide. It offers a free checking account with no monthly fees.

It lets you open an account with an ITIN and a valid US government-issued ID or foreign passport.

You can become a member of Alliant Credit Union by joining Foster to Success. Alliant will even pay the one-time $5 membership fee for you on your behalf.

5. Marcus by Goldman Sachs

Marcus by Goldman Sachs provides customers with a range of financial services:

  • A variety of savings products
  • A fee-free checking account
  • Investing options
  • Personal, home, and debt consolidation loans
  • Financial education resources

Marcus is available in all 50 states in the U.S., comes with a free debit card, and doesn't charge for incoming wire transfers, either domestic or international.

There are no physical branches, meaning you'll have to take care of sign-up either online or over the phone.

You can open a Marcus account with an ITIN if you don't have an SSN.

6. Self-Help Credit Union and Self Help Federal Credit Union

Self-Help Credit Union and Self Help Federal Credit Union are nonprofit financial services providers.

They aim to provide banking services to low-income individuals. The first provides services in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia; the second in California, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Washington.

Services they offer include personal checking, savings, and money market accounts, home, auto, personal, and immigration loans, IRAs, and more.

You can sign up with a valid driver's license, passport, an identification card from a Mexican consulate, a state-issued ID, a military ID, or a residency card.

7. Citibank

New York-based Citibank, a CreditDonkey partner, is another major U.S. bank. They offer personal checking and savings accounts, CDs and retirement accounts, credit cards, home loans, a variety of investing options, and wealth management services.

Citibank has over 2,600 branches in 19 countries.

If you can verify your address, you can open an account with Citibank with an ITIN instead of an SSN.

There are a number of other options for those looking to sign up for a bank without a Social Security number, but they may have geographical or other restrictions. They include:

  • Latino Credit Union
  • Alliant Credit Union
  • PNC Bank
  • Wells Fargo
  • Alternatives Credit Union
  • Ithaca Community Bank
  • M&T
  • Tompkins Trust Company and more

FAQs

What if I don't have a SSN or ITIN?
There are very few banks that will let you open an account without an SSN or ITIN. In that case, you will need to provide other forms of identity. This can be an alien registration number, passport, or government issued ID.

Can I open an account online without a SSN?
Yes, some banks let you open an account online without an SSN. You will need an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) instead. If you don't have one, then you'll need to apply at a branch with other forms of ID.

Can a non US citizen open a bank account?
Yes, foreigners can open a bank account in the US. Non-residents and their spouses and dependents can apply for an ITIN, which banks will accept as an alterative ID number.

How can I get an ITIN number quickly?
To apply for an ITIN number, you need to fill out Form W-7 and submit it to the IRS. You can either mail it in or apply in-person at IRS locations or IRS-authorized acceptance agents. You'll get your ITIN within 7 weeks if you qualify.

How much money do I need to open a bank account?
There are lots of banks that let you open an account with $0. Other banks may require $25, $50, $100, or more minimum deposit.

What Are The Benefits of Opening A Bank Account?

Not sure if it's worth it to open a bank account? Let's consider some of the benefits of having a bank account below.

Banks are safer
If your housing situation is uncertain, keeping your money in a bank will help protect it from burglaries, natural disasters, fires, and floods.

Plus, keeping large amounts of cash at home may appear suspicious to law enforcement, even if you're doing absolutely nothing wrong.

Banks are cheaper
Worried that banks will nickel-and-dime you with fees and charges? Luckily, many are moving away from that business model. Some even offer free checking accounts with no minimum.

Plus, there are unseen costs of not having a bank account.

Some service providers see an unbanked person as a potential risk, and may charge you additional fees for not having an account. With a bank account, you can cash checks and pay bills for no additional charge.

Banks help you build a financial history
Without financial history (like a credit score), it may be impossible to get a loan for a car, home, college education, or a business. You may not be able to get credit cards, either.

Simply by doing business with a banking institution over time, you can start to build your trustworthiness in the eyes of the financial community.

Many banks also offer ways to improve your credit score without taking on debt. Credit history may seem unnecessary now, but in the long term, it can be an invaluable asset.

Bottom Line

It's wise not to underestimate the value of having a bank account. Besides the obvious protections, it can help provide a starting point for your financial future. You'll also save time, money, and frustration when dealing with service providers.

You might be worried about the process, but rest assured, there are plenty of banks and credit unions interested in making it possible to open an account without a Social Security number.

All you need to do is choose which one is right for you, and get started.

References

  1. ^ "About Chase": Chase, 2022.

Jeremy Harshman is a creative assistant at CreditDonkey, a bank comparison and reviews website. Write to Jeremy Harshman at jeremy.harshman@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

Note: This website is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.

This content is not provided by Citi. Any opinions expressed are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Citi.

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